Thoroughbred Blood Stood the Test.: Personal Experience of Col. Allen in Mexico Proves Value of Blooded Horse of Bone and Barrel., Daily Racing Form, 1917-03-10


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THOROUGHBRED BLOOD STOOD THE TEST. Personal Experience of Col. Allen in Mexico Proves Value of Blooded Horse of Bone and Barrel. Colonel Henry T. Allen, commanding the Second Cavalry Brigade, writes as follows in respect to the type and blood of horses that are best adapted for army use: Recently there has been so much inexact language used in respect to the type and blood of horses that Ix-st Withstood the rigors of the punitive expedition, and so many unbridled expressions in re-s|vocts to the failure of thoroughbreds thai perhaps the following may be interesting. It should be stated here that then was one exceptionally strong little Arab stallion that gave an excellent account of himself. He was a specially good individual. Marring an attack of colic, which nearly carried him off, he. like other good individuals regardless ..f size or breeding, stood well the hardship as was to be expected. In the general case it is absurd to believe- that small animals can carry ha full weights 207 pounds, reckoning the man at 150 pounds unless tin v are especially good individuals. Moreover, the number of good small saddle horses so greatly exceeds the number of large ones, that good individuals from the fornior class are much more frequently met. Quotes Captain Liningers Report. In respect to the size of horses, attention is invited to a report made by Captain Clarence Linin-ger of the 13th cavalry, from which the following is an extract. He is an unusually accurate and dependable horseman and would now be on duty as instructor at the Riley school had it not been temporarily suspended. Fourteen best horses of the troop average. Age. Years Height Depth Height Length Girth, of to of at of Service. Chest. Body. Withers. Body. S.r,7 4.21 33.03 29.11 02.14 63.01 71. S7 Fourteen poorest horses of the troop average. 9.14 4.93 32.7S 2S.08 01.40 03.75 70.S.-, The above measurements Xere all made among the horses of one troop and all had passed through the same experiences and had done the same work with the same amount and kind of forage. The troop was one of those that entered Mexico on March 15. 1910. and in four weeks had covered 549 miles, a fair proportion of which was in the mountains over steep and rocky trails. Limited transportation accompanied the command so that in addition to the usual full pack equipment, the horses were burdened with varying amounts of forage and rations. Occasional feeds of hay or fodder were found, but for the most part grazing was depended upon for roughage and in the early spring the dried grass of the central plateau of Mexico is not highly nutritious. There was oats for the early part of the march, but as this was consumed it was replaced by corn, while once it became necessary to resort to wheat for a number of feedings. Clear Line of Distinction Revealed. Under conditions that prevailed, there was revealed B clear line of demarcation between the best horses and poorest ones; that is. between those on one hand that were in best condition as the term is generally understood, and were obviously most capable of undergoing further privations, and those on the other hand that had weakened to a greater degree. Glancing at the table we see the comparison to be as follows: Best Horses. Poorest Horses. Younger in years. Older i:i years. Younger in service. Older in service. Longer of leg. Shorter of leg. Deeper of body. Shallower of body. Greater of height. Less of height. Shorter of body. Longer of body. Greater iu girth. Less in girth. The table also shows the best horses as "square" that is with length of body aud height approximately tin- same; and generally they gave an impression of symmetry and good proportions combined with size and strength to bear the burden of the trooper and his pack. Further investigation and observation made it apparent that these same animals were good rustlers on the march, had hearty and omnivorous appetites. and last but not bast possessed good teeth, good digestion, and good powers of assimilation. In a recent paper I note such language as the following: "The thoroughbred of today has no place in a cavalry command * * * I have never seen a blue ribbon winner in any charger class that could have withstood the gaff in Mexico under the conditions which we encountered in the spring." Thoroughbreds Withstood the Hardships Best. I will cite only my personal experience which may serve to show that the language quoted is not judi-eioOS or conservative. My three horses are registered thoroughbreds and all hate raced Belgian by Mazagan. Mary Ann by Filigrane and Helios by Star Shoot 1. The last named won the Breeders Futurity. Cincinnati Plate. and nine other races the same year. My command was composed of pithed men and picked horses ami Bade some of the most trying man-lies in the southernly stretches of the campaign. From start to finish neither my orderly nor myself ever mounted any other horse than one of these. Due to an accident one of these horses was laid up and temporarily left behind. That gave only two for both the orderly and myself during the hardest part of the lampaign. when the marches were long and the forage pitiably short. When horses and mules were falling out or playing out every day, we had sixteen consecutive marches without an intervening day, most of them at night, and the last one was fifty -seven miles. These horses are still in my possession and in excellent health, and yet one of them is far from my idea of a cavalry type. In my opinion the campaign showed that the horses that best withstood the hardships were strong, symmetrical horses of good size. Above all a cavalry horse, like a pack mule, must be a w eight carrier. He should have blood and substance, in other words activity and strength. We have all bemoaned the fact on this expedition that our pack animals of the machine gun troops and of the pack-trains, were not strong enough, nor large enough on the scales. Blooded weeds, like any other weeds, are wholly undesirable for cavalry work; we require blood, barrel and bone.

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